Leaf from a Book of Hours: Initial D: Massacre of the Innocents (1 of 2 Excised Leaves), early 1300s. Northeastern France or Flanders, early 14th Century. Ink, tempera and gold on vellum; each leaf: 13 x 9.7 cm (5 1/8 x 3 13/16 in.). The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Jeanne Miles Blackburn Collection 1999.126
These initials introduce the text Deus in adiutorium meum intende (God come to my assistance). The borders include playful animals or humans engaged in assorted activities: a dog catching a hare; a lion; a peacock; and a woman winding yarn. The illuminators of books of hours, like the artists of psalters before them, continued to explore the possibilities suggested by open space on the page in order to showcase their ingenuity and delight the reader.